Aretha Franklin is in love, and she's not afraid to talk about it. The 69-year-old soul singer, who is engaged to her longtime friend Willie Wilkerson, spilled details about her wedding to the Associated Press. She also dropped a scandalous secret — hints of an affair with a late night talk show host in her past. Arsenio? Leno? Jimmy Kimmel? We may have to let our imaginations run wild with that one....
The soul singer has a simple reason for marrying for the third time at age 69. “I like being married. It’s an institution that I like. So momentarily I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be married." She adds, "I need taking care of a little more, I think. Let someone else be strong. Sometimes what you’re looking for is already there.”
Plans are in full-swing for her summer wedding, and the future Mrs. Wilkerson isn't handing decisions off to a wedding planner: "There is no way in the world anyone else could do my wedding other than myself, along with whomever I select to do various things."
As for that all-important white dress? "I’d love to see what they [Donna Karan and Vera Wang] would do custom for me," she says.
Another critical detail for the legendary singer: who will perform for the first dance. “I would love to have Smokey (Robinson) sing, my dearest, oldest friend [along with gospel singer Karen Clark and Stevie Wonder],” she reveals. Lucky bride to have so much talent just a phone call away!
Before she puts a ring on it, Aretha came clean about one of her high-profile relationships before she met Wilkerson. The singer admits to "an intimate affair" with a fellow celebrity in her past:
"(He was) one of America’s late-night talk-show hosts. At this point I’m thrilled it didn’t (work), and what I was looking for was already here. We’re very compatible, and he supports me and I support him a lot, and he has given me specialized attention that I don’t think I’ve received from anyone else. I receive a lot of male attention, but Will is more special than all the rest.”
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